ECO-DEV Minutes

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Meeting Date: 
October 21, 2016

Draft -------ECO-DEV Leadership Team

Minutes October 21, 2016

Present: Jennifer Beck, Dan Donovan, Harry Dailey, Chris Devine, Tina Smith, Nancy Clark, Jackie Kahle

Volunteer: Carissa Scenna

6:00PM- Come to order, approved minutes from 9/29.

Update on Board presentations to Planning, Selectmen, and WMSA. This team will operate as a research and advisory arm, making formal recommendations to town officials and suggesting warrant articles to be brought forth by elected committees and boards. Although as an ad hoc committee, we do not have the obligation to operate under the Right to Know Law, we will continue to post agendas and minutes on the town website, and invite the public to attend meetings, operating with transparency and inviting the ongoing engagement of residents and business owners.

Dan Donovan congratulated the team on progress so far and resigned from the team in the wake of his resignation as selectman. He started all this as the father of eco-development and got us off the ground. He’ll be missed and probably approached for project work.

Site walk with Kermit Williams, chairmen of selectman and Alison Meltzer, president, WMSA led to a plan to formulate a preliminary design to begin a river walk from the bridge to the end of the police station parking lot. Chuck Crawford owns the property and will be approached to allow for low maintenance plantings like ornamental grasses, the installation of benches and solar lighting, etc. Further examination of the back lots of Main St. properties suggests we could eventually link both parks by an extended handicap-accessible walkway bordering the Souhegan river. This could open up alternative satellite parking areas at the mill buildings, provide more walkable spaces for residents and open up river views from Main St properties increasing values.

Shark Tank (the TV show) Nomination has been submitted to compete for a $500k grant that would provide a downtown makeover. We’ve been contacted to provide more information following our initial submission on Oct 21st. There are 10,000 nominations submitted, but Wilton has made the first cut. The team is working with Scott Butcher, TA, to identify projects associated with the team’s three focus areas: 1) Diversify the Tax Base, 2) Build a Vibrant Downtown, and 3) Establish Wilton as a Destination and line those up with appropriate grant sources.

BR&E Program Update: We’re slightly behind on business surveys and have re-assigned many to new volunteers. We hope to have 98 of them in before Thanksgiving.

Marketing communications strategy: Carissa Scenna, volunteer and market research professional submitted the following draft plan for a social media approach to help us first engage residents and businesses to determine wants and needs, then to help put Wilton on the digital map. Mike McGonegal is now working with Scott Butcher on a new town website. Jackie Kahle got approval for a 30 second survey exit poll during No. 8th to help us understand how residents want to be kept informed and communicate with the ECO-DEV team throughout this process and during critical projects.

Adjourn – 8:00 PM